Re: RARA-AVIS: Rankin's Black and Blue

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 23 Jul 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: "William Denton" <>
> A question: how come Rebus doesn't have a partner? Do the police in
> Scotland work differently, or is it just Rebus or just this book? I'm
> used to police travelling in pairs. Rebus is spending most of this book
> doing things he shouldn't, but even when he was doing a routine murder
> investigation he didn't have a junior with him,

Uniformed cops travel in pairs. This is because of a Scottish legal point, known as corroboration. Essentially (and this does not apply in England and Wales, who have a totally separate legal system), evidence has to be backed up, ie corroborated, so a single police officer's evidence wouldn't be enough to bring a case to court. Hence, they travel in pairs. The CID don't seem to do this. It may be no more than a logistical restraint: there aren't enough of them.

> I saw half of the TV adaptation of this book, and all of the adaptation of
> THE HANGING GARDEN. They make adequate TV if you haven't read the books,
> but they're not much if you have. John Hannah's no where near right for
> the part of Rebus, and they didn't seem to have any budget for music
> rights.

I haven't been able to watch any of these TV adaptions. John Hannah is too young, too handsome, too tanned, but, worst of all, too soft. John Hannah couldn't scare ME, let alone an Edinburgh gangster.

Al "Knuckles" Guthrie

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